LA County's Arts for All plan seems to be gaining steam and is having a real impact on the restoration of music and arts education. The plan calls for 5% of school funding to be allocated to arts education.
The LA Times reports today that it is working. This is certainly a model worth looking at for other areas in desperate need of revitalization of arts education.
County Plan Is Helping Districts Replenish Starving Arts Budgets
When the Los Angeles County Arts Commission approached Tom Whaley about participating in a 10-year program to improve arts education in the Santa Monica and Malibu schools, he was more than a little skeptical.
"I was always about bringing in more art or more dance," said Whaley, arts coordinator for the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, where taxpayers and community donors have helped maintain music, drama, art and dance on campuses during lean budget times. The county's more long-term approach held little appeal.
But Whaley soon came to see the value of the effort, designed to help the 80 Los Angeles County school districts develop plans for putting arts into the curricula for all students and to encourage school boards to work toward committing 5% of their operating budgets to arts education.
Two years after his district signed on in 2003, Whaley believes the county's approach is the way to go. "This is about systemic change," Whaley said of "Arts for All: Los Angeles County Regional Blueprint for Arts Education."